Question of the Day: May 30

If you are reading this in an email you received from me, do not click the link to below. Use the link to my website that is farther down on the email. If you are seeing this in my blog, dco the SAT Question of the Day by clicking on this link: (This link takes you to today’s question. If you use my archive, you will see the question related to my SAT explanation for that date.)

The answer is D.  The SAT and ACT folks like to test you on “pronoun antecedents.”  That is, there must be a clear and specific noun for which the pronoun stands.  In this case, the pronoun “them” has that problem.  While logically “them” should represent “other schools,” it is not obvious in the sentence that it does so.  Bubble in D and move on.

You should refer to my list of common errors.  It tells you, for example, if you see a pronoun underlined what mistakes you should look for (antecedent, form, gender, singular/plural, etc.).  If you see a verb underlined, look for …  There are certain grammar conventions that are associated with each part of speech.  The test writers like to give you questions about them.  Review the list and you’ll find your score improving.

Let’s see what the ACT folks are up to this morning. (The ACT staff does not put a date on their questions so if you click on an archived blog, you’ll get today’s question and the old explanation. Sorry. The SAT staff has dated their questions; so, the archive is helpful. The ACT folks simply don’t do that.)

The answer is D.  There will always be four trig questions on the ACT but no trig on the SAT!  Generally speaking, two of the four will involve basic trig ratios and if you memorize SOHCAHTOA (Google it), you will get a couple of the them correct.  The other questions will involve things like the basic trig identity, the unit circle, and sine waves.  Obviously this question requires you to know the sine of an angle is SOH or sine = opposite over the hypotenuse.

The tricky part of this question is you first have to calculate the hypotenuse.  That’s simple enough; just call on your friend Pythagoras: a squared plus b squared is the hypotenuse squared.  A little calculator work and you discover the hypotenuse is 25.  The opposite side is 24.  The answer is 24/25.

Or you could do it with a little thinking and you’d be all done.  I didn’t do any math to get the right answer!  I know the opposite over the hypotenuse is the sine.  The opposite is 24; so, the right answer had to be C or D.  The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right triangle; so, C made absolutely no sense (besides 7 is the adjacent side–answer C, not the hypotenuse).  That left D.  What it all boiled down to was just memorizing SOHCAHTOA.  You can do that.

I hope finals are under control.  Best of luck this Saturday if you are taking the SAT and next Saturday if the ACT is on your agenda.

The Wizard

About Bob Alexander

Bob has been a professional educator starting with teaching biology, becoming a school administrator, and then working as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC. He got his start in national testing by becoming a consulting test writer, later joining Kaplan as a director, and finally starting his own business in 1995. He has written numerous books, consulted for school districts and colleges, developed his website and been featured on a DVD set. He offers SAT and ACT prep classes and tutors individuals and small groups of students in central Florida.
Category: SAT & ACT Question Of The Day No Comments

Comments are closed.